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Sepatutnya Tumpuan Kita Ialah Manek Urai….

 

Aku sebenarnya dah malas sampai tahap gaban dah. Tah apa nak jadi politik Malaysia ni, tak faham aku. Dah rasa tak larat nak ikut. Aku dah sampai malas nak fikir.

Patutnya sehari dua ni banyak benda boleh aku ulas, boleh aku tulis kat sini. Terlalu banyak sebenarnya, atau lebih tepat lagi terlampau banyak.

Tambah pulak hari ni, dengan isu babi di kedah, isu Cikgu Bad ‘putus’ hubungan dengan DPP, isu wacana dah jadi kerjasama, isu bubar DUN Perak pun riuh jugak.

Patutnya masa ni semua kepala dok tumpu kat Manik Urai, PRK Manik Urai memang la tak berapa penting untuk politik Malaysia. Apa pun keputusannya Kelantan tetap akan PAS Perintah. Cumanya sapa yang kalah akan dapat malu.

Kalau PAS kalah dah tentu-tentu kena kutuk dengan Umno dan penyokong Pakatan Rakyat pun akan ada jugak yang kalau tak belasah berdepan pun tapi perli-perli mesti ada punya.

Kalau Umno yang kalah, itu biasa, habih-habih pun riuh la sehari dua. Lepas tu senyap la balik, kalau nak riuh balik pun tunggu ada PRK pulak. Aku rasa akan ada lagi PRK lepas ni, mungkin banyak lagi kut sebelum sampai PRU 13.

PRK Manik Urai pun aku tak tau lagi boleh pi ka dak. Patutnya aku dah ada kat sana, tapi apa boleh buat, keadaan belum mengizinkan dan besar kemungkinan jugak.

Balik pada cerita politik semenjak dua menjak ni, aku malas dah nak layan sebenarnya, lagi baik aku ‘layan’ kerja yang banyak tertangguh, yang tak siap laig, yang patutnya siap semalam-semalam.

Mungkin lepas ni aku dah malas nak ulas dah isu-isu politik ni kut. Aku rasa aku nak main copy & paste aja laa. Tak larat nak ‘buang’ masa buat ulasan, kecuali kalau ada isu-isu yang menarik minat aku nak ‘layan’. -cenangau

 

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ADUN DAP Kedah Isytihar Jadi Ahli Bebas

 

Mereka kata hendak keluar… keluarlah” demikian kata-kata Menteri Besar Kedah, Dato Seri Azizan Abdul Razak dan kini cabaran tersebut disambut apabila wakil rakyat tunggal DAP di Kedah Lee Guan Aik hari ini mengisytiharkan dirinya sebagai Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) bebas dan berkecuali dan tidak lagi menjadi penyokong kerajaan negeri.

Bezanya ADUN DAP di Kedah dengan ADUN DAP Jelapang Perak yang melompat ialah beliau tidak menjadi penyokong kepada BN.

Sebagai ADUN bebas dan berkecuali, katanya, beliau juga tidak akan menyokong Barisan Nasional (BN) tetapi sebaliknya hanya menyokong pihak yang benar sahaja.

Lee, ADUN Kota Darul Aman itu, berkata pendirian DAP negeri untuk keluar dari pakatan pembangkang Kedah telah dimaklumkan kepada DAP pusat menerusi sepucuk surat dua hari lepas.

Lee berkata berkata kerajaan negeri pimpinan PAS mungkin tidak sedar bahawa DAP telah memainkan peranan untuk memancing undi kaum Cina menyokong Pakatan Rakyat termasuk memberi undi kepada PAS dalam pilihanraya umum lepas.

“Kita kesal dengan layanan yang diberikan kepada DAP kerana saya telah naik turun berjumpa menteri besar untuk meminta agar Majlis Bandaraya Alor Star (MBAS) menangguh operasi meroboh pusat penyembelihan babi itu sementara menunggu keputusan kerajaan negeri meluluskan tapak pusat yang baru”, katanya.

Pengerusi DAP negeri Thomas Su berkata selain Lee yang akan bertindak seperti ADUN bebas, tiga ahli majlis pihak berkuasa tempatan dan 43 ketua komuniti dari DAP negeri ini juga akan meletak jawatan jika DAP pusat bersetuju dengan keputusan mereka.

Walau bagaimanapun banyak pihak masih mengharapkan agar isu tersebut dapat diselesaikan apabila Majlis Presiden Pakatan Rakyat bermesyuarat bagi mengelesaikan kemelut politik Kedah tersebut.

al-brangi

Penasihat Petronas, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad bertanya apa yang kerajaan buat dengan duit sebanyak RM253.6 billion sebagai bayaran daripada kompeni minyak negara dalam masa 6 tahun lepas iaitu semasa zaman pemerintahan Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sebagai Perdana Menteri? theMalayanInsider .

Katanya lagi Petronas sentiasa membayar dividen, cukai dan royalti ekspot kepada kerajaan semenjak 1976.

Petronas mula membayar :

RM700 juta pada tahun 1976.
RM2 billion pada tahun 1981.
RM168.8 billion dari tahun 1981 sehingga 2003.

RM19 billion pada 2004
RM67.8 billion pada 2009.
RM253.6 billion dari tahun 2004 hingga 2009.

Mahathir hanya ‘berminat’ dengan angka RM253.6 billion (2004 hingga 2009, di mana) dibelanjakan kemana, kononnya ketika itu dizaman Pak Lah?

Kenapa beliau tidak perjelaskan apa yang dibelanja sebanyak RM168 billion (1981 hingga 2003) di zamannya?

Boleh tak beliau maklumkan berapakah gaji berserta elaun yang dibayar kepadanya sebagai Penasihat Petronas?

Kuman di seberang laut nampak, gajah di depan mata tak nampak.

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a. Daging Babi

b. Selsema Babi

c. Gila Babi

d. Babi Gila

e. Babi Selsema

f. Babi Betullah

g. Betul Babi

h. Penyembelihan Babi

i. Babi disembelih

j. Ulasan Babi

k. Pindah Babi

l. Babi Pindah

Jawapan yang mana satu di atas yang menepati Babi di Kedah? 

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Posted by al-brangi Labels: , , at 3:00 PM
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Diambil dari Blog YB Teresa Kok

Sejak Pakatan Rakyat ditubuhkan, ramai penyokong kita tanya bilakah kita akan tubuhkan “shadow cabinet” seperti apa yang diadakan di UK dan negara-negara maju dan sebagainya.

Hari ini, sekreteriat Pakatan Rakyat mengumumkan senarai “shadow cabinet” kita, di mana setiap parti menghantar wakil dalam setiap kementerian.

Saya dah pakai banyak “topi” dan telah memikul tanggungjawab yang berat. Oleh itu, saya hanya mengambil peranan yang sejajar dengan peranan yang dimainkan oleh saya di Negeri Selangor, iaitu dalam Kementerian

Senarai Jawatankuasa Ahli Parlimen Pakatan Rakyat Mengikut Kementerian
Kementerian :

JABATAN PERDANA MENTERI
PKR
YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, YB Mohamed Azmin Ali, YB Sivarasa Rasiah
YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, YB William Leong, YB Ahmad Kasim,
YB Fuziah Salleh

DAP
YB Lim Kit Siang, YAB Lim Guan Eng, YB M Kulasegaran, YB Ngeh Koo Ham,
YB Gobind Singh Deo, YB M Manogaran

PAS
YB Dato’ Seri Hj Abdul Hadi Awang, YB Ust Nasharudin Mat Isa,
YB Salahuddin Ayub, YB Dr Hatta Ramli, YB Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad, YB Taib Azamuddin,
YB Khalid Samad

KEMENTERIAN DALAM NEGERI
YB Dato’ Johari Abdul , YB Salahuddin Haji Ayub, YB Karpal Singh

KEMENTERIAN KEWANGAN
YB Mohamed Azmin Ali, YB Dzulkifli Ahmad, YAB Lim Guan Eng

KEMENTERIAN PENGANGKUTAN
YB Dato’ Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, YB Khalid Samad, YB Tan Kok Wai

KEMENTERIAN KERJA RAYA
YB Dato’ Kamarul Bahrin Abbas, YB Dato’ Mahfuz Omar, YB Gobind Singh Deo

KEMENTERIAN PERUSAHAAN PERLADANGAN DAN KOMODITI
YB Dato’ Rashid Din, YB Dato Wan Abd Rahim Wan Abdullah,
YB Er Teck Hwa

KEMENTERIAN TENAGA, TEKNOLOGI HIJAU DAN AIR
YB Chua Tian Chang, YB Nasir bin Zakaria, YB Charles Anthony Santiago

KEMENTERIAN PERDAGANGAN ANTARABANGSA DAN INDUSTRIYB William Leong, YB Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, YB Teresa Kok

KEMENTERIAN PERTANIAN DAN INDUSTRI ASAS TANI
YB Ahmad Kassim, YB Taib Azamuddin Md Taib, YB Sim Tong Him

KEMENTERIAN PERDAGANGAN DALAM NEGERI DAN HAL EHWAL PENGGUNA
YB Azan Ismail, YB Dr Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut, YB Jeff Ooi

KEMENTERIAN PELAJARAN
YB Yusmadi Yusoff, YB Che Uda Che Nik, YB Chong Eng

KEMENTERIAN PENERANGAN KOMUNIKASI, KESENIAN DAN KEBUDAYAAN
YB Amran Abdul Ghani, YB Dato’ Mahfuz Haji Omar, YB Teo Nie Ching

KEMENTERIAN SUMBER MANUSIA
YB Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, YB Muhammad bin Husin, YB M Kulasegaran

KEMENTERIAN SAINS, TEKNOLOGI DAN INOVASI
YB Nurul Izzah Anwar , YB Dr Che Rosli Che Mat, YB Chow Kon Yeow

KEMENTERIAN PERUMAHAN DAN KERAJAAN TEMPATAN
YB Hee Loy Sian, YB Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, YB Nga Kor Ming

KEMENTERIAN PERTAHANAN
YB Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, YB Dato’ Seri Muhammad Nizar Jamaluddin,
YB Liew Chin Tong

KEMENTERIAN KEMAJUAN LUAR BANDAR DAN WILAYAH
YB Ab Aziz Ab Kadir, YB Dato’ Ab Halim bin Ab Rahman, YB M Manogaran

KEMENTERIAN LUAR NEGERI
YB Sivarasa Rasiah, YB Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar, YB P Ramasamy

KEMENTERIAN BELIA DAN SUKAN
YB Tan Tee Beng, YB Mohd Firdaus bin Jaafar, YB Anthony Loke Siew Fook

KEMENTERIAN KESIHATAN
YB Dr Lee Boon Chye, YB Dr Mohd Hayati Othman, YB Dr Tan Seng Giaw

KEMENTERIAN PEMBANGUNAN WANITA, KELUARGA DAN MASYARAKAT
YB Zuraida Kamaruddin, YB Siti Zailah bt Mohd Yusuf, YB Fong Po Kuan

KEMENTERIAN PELANCONGAN
YB Manikavasagam a/l Sundaram, YB Dato Wan Abd Rahim Wan Abdullah,
YB Fong Kui Lun

KEMENTERIAN WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN
YB Wee Choo Keong, YB Dr Lo’ Lo’ Haji Mohd Ghazali, YB Lim Lip Eng

KEMENTERIAN PENGAJIAN TINGGI
YB Zulkifli Nordin, YB Salahuddin Haji Ayub, YB Tony Pua

KEMENTERIAN SUMBER ASLI DAN ALAM SEKITAR
YB Gobalakrishnan a/l Nagapan, YB Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, YB Chong Chien Jen

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kedah lanie

JAIS Vs Norman Vs Memey Vs Abby : Looo Silap La Pulak

 

Pegawai JAIS akui pertuduhan Norman-Memey silap
03/07/2009 3:41pm

KUALA LUMPUR 3 Julai – Mahkamah Syariah Gombak Timur di sini, hari ini diberitahu bahawa pertuduhan berkhalwat terhadap pasangan pelakon Norman Hakim dan Memey tahun lalu adalah salah dan tidak berasaskan fakta.

Pegawai Penguatkuasa Agama, Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS), Abdul Rahman Lai Abdullah dalam keterangannya sebagai sebagai saksi pertama pendakwaan bagi kes itu, mengakui pertuduhan itu tidak betul kerana Norman tidak ditemui pada 3 pagi dalam premis yang sama seperti dinyatakan dalam kertas pertuduhan.

Sebaliknya, menurut Abdul Rahman, pelakon itu ditemui dan ditahan ketika berada dalam premis di tingkat atas dari tempat Memey ditemui, yang merupakan sebuah premis berlainan dan mempunyai alamat yang berlainanan.

“Saya tidak nampak mana-mana lelaki semasa (saya) masuk ke dalam rumah (premis dalam kertas pertuduhan) dan saya juga tidak nampak mana-mana lelaki semasa memeriksa tingkat bawah dan ruang udara di tingkat atas rumah,” kata Abdul Rahman ketika disoal balas oleh peguambela Fakhrul Azman Abu Hassan. – Bernama

 

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ADMIN – KedahLaNie TIME – 6:34 PM 0 Komen Anda

Ibu Termuda di Malaysia Telah di temui

 

11 tahun sudah jadi ibu?

PETALING JAYA 3 Julai – Seorang Timbalan Menteri terkejut besar ketika beliau melawat wad bersalin Hospital Cameron Highlands baru-baru ini apabila mendapati ada kanak-kanak Orang Asli sudah menjadi ibu pada usia yang terlalu muda iaitu antara 11 dan 12 tahun

Namun begitu, yang lebih membimbangkan Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk T. Murugiah adalah kejahilan golongan bawah umur ini bahawa mereka perlu mendaftarkan kelahiran bayi mereka.

Beliau berkata, kanak-kanak perempuan terbabit akan pulang ke tempat tinggal mereka di kampung terpencil dan bayi yang dilahirkan itu langsung tidak ada sijil lahir.

“Ini akan membawa masalah bukan hanya kepada anak, ibu bapa malah kepada kerajaan juga di masa depan,” katanya.

Bercakap kepada pemberita selepas mengadakan pertemuan dengan penduduk kawasan perumahan Putra Heights, Subang Jaya dekat sini, Murugiah berkata, beliau akan membawa isu itu kepada Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara bagi melihat sama ada mereka boleh melantik segera seorang pegawai khas untuk mengendalikan kes sedemikian. – Bernama

 



:: Balik Semula ::

ADMIN – KedahLaNie TIME – 5:55 PM 0 Komen Anda

ADUN tunggal DAP Kedah isytihar diri bebas dan berkecuali

 

ALOR SETAR: Wakil rakyat tunggal DAP di Kedah Lee Guan Aik hari ini mengisytiharkan dirinya sebagai Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) bebas dan berkecuali dan tidak lagi menjadi penyokong kerajaan negeri.

Sebagai ADUN bebas dan berkecuali, katanya, beliau juga tidak akan menyokong Barisan Nasional (BN) tetapi sebaliknya hanya menyokong pihak yang benar sahaja.

Lee, ADUN Kota Darul Aman itu, berkata pendirian DAP negeri untuk keluar dari pakatan pembangkang Kedah telah dimaklumkan kepada DAP pusat menerusi sepucuk surat dua hari lepas.

“Bagaimanapun, kita tidak menghantar surat kepada Menteri Besar Kedah (Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak),” katanya kepada Bernama di sini hari ini.

Katanya DAP negeri sedang menunggu jawapan balas dari DAP pusat mengenai keputusan mereka berundur dari Pakatan Rakyat di negeri tersebut.

Lee berkata, kerajaan negeri pimpinan PAS mungkin tidak sedar bahawa DAP telah memainkan peranan untuk memancing undi kaum Cina menyokong Pakatan Rakyat termasuk memberi undi kepada PAS pada pilihan raya umum lepas. “Kita kesal dengan layanan yang diberikan kepada DAP kerana saya telah naik turun berjumpa Menteri Besar untuk meminta agar Majlis Bandaraya Alor Setar (MBAs) menangguh operasi meroboh pusat penyembelihan babi itu sementara menunggu keputusan kerajaan negeri meluluskan tapak pusat yang baru”, katanya.

Rabu lepas, DAP Kedah membuat kejutan apabila mengumumkan untuk keluar daripada pakatan pembangkang negeri itu kerana tidak yakin dengan keadilan kerajaan negeri dalam mentadbir negeri.

Tindakan itu berpunca daripada kegagalan kerajaan negeri menangani isu merobohkan pusat penyembelihan babi di Kampung Berjaya dekat sini.

Pengerusi DAP negeri Thomas Su berkata selain Lee yang akan bertindak seperti ADUN bebas, tiga ahli majlis pihak berkuasa tempatan dan 43 ketua komuniti dari DAP negeri ini juga akan meletak jawatan jika DAP pusat bersetuju dengan keputusan mereka.BERNAMA

 

:: Balik Semula ::

ADMIN – KedahLaNie TIME – 5:05 PM 2 Komen Anda

Pengakuan Seorang Pakar Pemusnah Ekonomi Negara-Negara Di Dunia

 

oleh Aris Awang

Awasi tangan-tangan manusia yang merosakkan dunia.

Pemuda dan Pemudi ku

Saya membaca artikel di blog Sokong Pakatan Rakyat yang diambil dari blog Tukar Tiub dan selepas habis membaca artikel itu, saya merayau di alam maya mencari buku “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” karangan John Perkins, berjumpa ringkasan bukunya.

Diharap pemuda dan pemudiku sebagai pewaris Malaysia dapat membaca pendedahan yang dibuat oleh John Perkins untuk menginsafi bahawa ramai pemimpin negara atau bakal pemimpin negara akan dihimpit oleh mereka yang sealiran John Perkins, yang sekarang sudah menyesal sejak terbunuhnya kawan karibnya Omar Torijos, bekas Presiden Panama kerana tidak membenarkan penguasaan asing keatas terusan Panama dan lebih-lebih lagi selepas peristiwa pengeboman 11 September telah mendesak naluri kemanusiaan beliau untuk menulis dan membuat pendedahan mengenai kerja-kerja jahat yang dilakukannya.

Untuk membaca ringkasan buku beliau sila klik di sini

Perkins defines economic hit men as “highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign ‘aid’ organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources.

Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.”

Oleh itu bagi saya, jelas pemimpin BN yang baru sahaja mengemukakan dasar baru mengenai Libralisasi Ekonomi kita sekarang ini terjebak dengan mainan kotor peringkat antarabangsa seperti disebut oleh John Perkins iaitu penipuan laporan kewangan, kawalan pilihanraya, ganjaran duit, paksaan, seks dan pembunuhan seperti empayar dahulu kala, malah sesuatu yang lebih menakutkan kerana melibat seluruh penjuru dunia dalam era globalisasi sekarang ini.

Pemuda dan Pemudiku pewaris Malaysia,

Baca pula petikan di bawah, dengan hanya menggunakan seorang pelacur yang cantik untuk menawan putera Saud yang diberi gelaran “Prince W.”, Perkins berjaya menguasai kontrak yang cukup lumayan di Saudi Arabia hanya dalam masa satu malam:-

For his part, Perkins convinced a key player within the House of Saud, a man he calls Prince W., that these projects would benefit his country as well as him personally. Perkins was able to eventually persuade Prince W. by arranging for a beautiful prostitute to live with him. By arranging for the prostitute to live with Prince W., Perkins was able to gain his trust and eventually convinced him of the value of the deal. The entire package was finally approved by the royal family of Saudi Arabia and MAIN was rewarded with one of the first highly lucrative contracts, which was actually administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“The deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia transformed the kingdom practically overnight.” It also marked the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the House of Saud, the bin Laden family and the Bush family, which benefited greatly from a financial standpoint thanks to the deal.
Tidak ada jalan lain untuk menyelamatkan negara ini melainkan menjatuhkan BN serta digantikan dengan mereka yang bukan sahaja bebas, bahkan mesti dilihat bebas dari pengaruh orang-orang seperti John Perkins.

Ingat!!! sebuah negara boleh digadai hanya kerana seorang manusia bernama “NAJIB” atau sebuah pertubuhan bernama “UMNO”.

Kepada bekas pengundi BN di Manik Urai, mengundi kali ini berilah undi kepada Calon PAS anda tidak rugi apa-apa, bahkan sekurang-kurangnya dapat membantu menyelamatkan negara walaupun tanpa anda sedari.

 



:: Balik Semula ::

ADMIN – KedahLaNie TIME

Former ICC chief warns against India-led cartel

Former ICC chief warns against India-led cartel AFP/File – Ehsan Mani during a press conference in Lahore in October 2004. Former International Cricket Council …

by Shahid Hashmi Shahid Hashmi 20 mins ago

KARACHI (AFP) – A Pakistani former head of cricket’s international governing body on Friday accused India of exploiting its financial clout by trying to form a cartel of top nations.

Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani warned against attempts to create a divide in international cricket by allowing a top tier with Australia, England, India and South Africa.

“It may not be deliberate but Australia, England and South Africa want to benefit financially by playing India more and more, which would squeeze out countries like Pakistan from international cricket,” Mani told AFP.

The ICC was last week due to finalise a Future Tour Programme (FTP), a six-year scheduling of countries playing home and away cricket, but deferred after Pakistan complained of being given less cricket.

The first FTP, which runs out in 2012, was signed by all 10 Test playing countries in 2006.

A senior official from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Thursday the PCB had raised serious concerns over attempts to marginalise Pakistan.

“We have raised our concerns that there were attempts to marginalise us in the FTP and the ICC has assured us that our concerns will be addressed,” chief operating officer Salim Altaf told AFP.

Mani said it was up to the ICC, not the four countries, to finalise the FTP.

“I think ICC is not doing much and is not reactive to pressures. It really bothers me,” said Mani, who was ICC president from 2003 to 2006 and who spoke to AFP in English.

Mani said India had not scheduled any series with Pakistan in the second FTP.

“PCB has a strong stance on why India is not giving Pakistan any series in the FTP post-2012 and India is giving a blatant message that they just want to play top countries who for self-interests (are) fulfilling what India asks.

“Pakistan should refuse to sign the FTP because it is a programme aimed at giving all countries home and away cricket with all other countries at least once in six years.”

Mani again accused India, an arch rival of his home country Pakistan, of being behind an ICC decision that stripped Pakistan of its share of World Cup 2011 matches over security fears.

“The whole issue of Pakistan stripped of World Cup matches was due to India,” said Mani. The matches will now be held in co-hosts India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The ICC said last month Pakistan’s matches would be shared by the other co-hosts — prompting the PCB to initiate a court appeal.

“I am afraid Pakistan will have to improve its relationship with other countries as well and needs to do a lot of lobbying,” said Mani.

“Pakistan had fulfilled what Australia had demanded on security and played their home series on neutral grounds,” said Mani of two series played on neutral grounds in 2002 and 2009 over Australian fears about security.

“Now Pakistan (touring Australia next year) should also ask Australia to provide top-level security because a lot of students have been killed in Melbourne recently.”

Vice President Biden meets America’s Iraq leaders

BAGHDAD – Vice President Joe Biden met with the top American military commander and diplomat on Friday as he made his first visit to Iraq after being appointed to oversee the administration’s Iraq policy.

Biden’s arrival in Baghdad late Thursday came just days after all U.S. combat troops were pulled out of Iraq’s cities and towns on June 30, as part of a security agreement that will see all American soldiers out of the country by the end of 2011.

The U.S. will gradually begin drawing down forces over the coming months until there are no combat troops left in Iraq by next August.

During his visit, Biden will meet with President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Wearing a tan suit and suede combat boots, he had breakfast on Friday with Gen. Ray Odierno and Ambassador Christopher Hill, America’s top soldier and diplomat in Iraq.

A White House statement said that during the visit, Biden will reiterate the U.S. commitment to carry out President Barack Obama‘s plan to withdraw combat forces. He also will press Iraqi leaders to make more progress toward political reconciliation. It was his first trip to Iraq as vice president.

Al-Maliki named the day U.S. combat troops withdrew, June 30, as “National Sovereignty Day” and declared it a public holiday.

On that same day, the White House said that Biden will oversee and work with its government to overcoming their political differences and achieve reconciliation.

Biden arrived as violence flared up in the Iraqi capital, which has seen scores of bombing in the past two weeks.

At least 447 Iraqi civilians were killed in June, double the toll from the previous month, according to an Associated Press tally.

 In this frame grab made from television, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, second AP – In this frame grab made from television, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, second right, greets Iraqi Deputy …

UN chief to lobby Myanmar for Suu Kyi’s release

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waves upon his arrival at a hotel Friday, AP – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waves upon his arrival at a hotel Friday, July 3, 2009 in Yangon, …

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer John Heilprin, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 43 mins ago

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ventured into talks with Myanmar’s junta chief Friday for what he called “a very tough mission” to win freedom for the country’s opposition leader.

Shortly after the U.N. chief arrived in Myanmar, the court presiding over Aung San Suu Kyi‘s widely criticized trial announced an adjournment until July 10. The trial had been set to resume Friday after a monthlong delay with her final defense witness taking the stand.

If Ban is allowed to meet with the 64-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate, he will be the first U.N. secretary-general to do so since her first period of detention started in 1989. U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas said earlier this week that Ban would push to meet her in person.

Shortly after his arrival, Ban flew to Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s remote administrative capital, where he met with the junta leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, in an ornate reception hall with a collonaded walkway and an indoor waterfall.

“I’d like to appreciate your commitment to move your country forward … and I’d like to contribute, to work together for peace and prosperity,” Ban told the general as their talks began.

Earlier in Yangon, the commercial capital, Ban told reporters it would be “a very tough mission.”

“I will try my best. I will convey the concern of the international community and the United Nations,” he said.

Senior U.N. officials traveling with Ban called the trip a “highly risky” one for the secretary-general, whose image would suffer if the junta ignores his demands — as it has repeatedly shunned global calls in the past for democratic reforms.

Suu Kyi is charged with violating the terms of her house arrest when an uninvited American man swam secretly to her lakeside home in May and stayed for two days. She has pleaded not guilty and faces five years in prison if convicted.

The trial has sparked outrage from world leaders, Hollywood celebrities, other Nobel laureates and human rights groups who say the military-controlled government is using the bizarre incident as an excuse to keep Suu Kyi behind bars through elections scheduled for 2010. Suu Kyi has been in detention for nearly 14 of the last 20 years.

“I’m going to argue for the release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi,” Ban told reporters late Thursday in Singapore, adding that he plans to “raise her case directly” with Than Shwe. Ban is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Gen. Thein Sein.

He was also scheduled to meet ethnic minority groups and leaders of political parties including senior members of Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, who were driven to Naypyitaw on Thursday, government officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the itinerary.

Ban had previously said his talks would focus on “three of the most important issues for the future of Myanmar.” They are gaining the release of all political prisoners including Suu Kyi; resumption of dialogue between the military government and its opposition; and creating conditions for credible elections.

Suu Kyi told her lawyers during a two-hour meeting Thursday that “these three issues are very important” and reiterated that national reconciliation is key to solving the country’s problems.

Suu Kyi is being detained at Myanmar‘s notorious Insein Prison, as is 53-year-old John William Yettaw of Falcon, Missouri, the intruder who is charged with trespassing.

Her trial was delayed for a month while lawyers appealed the court’s decision to ban three key witnesses, one of whom was reinstated by an appeals court.

Defense witness Khin Moe Moe — a lawyer and member of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy — was due to testify Friday. But the presiding judge told lawyers that the case file had not yet been returned by the appeals court that had ruled to reinstate the witness, said attorney Nyan Win.

Suu Kyi’s supporters fear that Suu Kyi will be found guilty because the courts are under the influence of the ruling junta and usually mete out harsh punishment for political dissidents.

Suu Kyi’s opposition party won national elections in 1990, but Myanmar’s generals refused to relinquish power. Her latest six-year round of house arrest was to expire last month.

Human Rights Watch urged Ban to make the trip “meaningful” after years of failed U.N. attempts to win Suu Kyi’s freedom and promote democratic reforms. Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962.

“Time and again, the U.N. has politely requested Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, but her ‘release’ back to house arrest would be a huge failure,” Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “He should make it clear that the time for stalling and playing games is over and that real change is needed now.”

South Korea: North Korea may fire more missiles

South Korean conservative activists burn a defaced North Korean flag and mock AP – South Korean conservative activists burn a defaced North Korean flag and mock missiles during a rally …

By KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press Writer Kwang-tae Kim, Associated Press Writer 36 mins ago

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea shrugged off North Korea‘s firing of short-range missiles saying Friday they were part of routine military exercises and warning more launches are likely in coming days.

Whether the communist country will fire a long-range missile toward Hawaii remained unclear, though U.S. defense officials said such a launch did not appear imminent.

The North fired four short-range missiles off its east coast Thursday, just ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday that falls this weekend. The U.S. and Japan called the North’s move “provocative.”

But Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae said South Korea did not attach much significance to the missile launches, calling them part of a routine military exercise.

The short-range missiles are not seen as a threat by South Korea and the U.S., which have far more sophisticated weapons. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing an unidentified military official, reported that all four missiles flew about 60 miles (100 kilometers).

The launches, however, have highlighted concerns over North Korea’s broader missile intentions, especially after the country warned ships to stay away from waters off its eastern coast until July 10.

Speculation has centered on whether the North may try to fire a long-range missile toward Hawaii during the period. In April, North Korea threatened to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile. Such a move would be seen as another challenge to the United States, which has been rallying international support for enforcement of U.N. sanctions imposed against Pyongyang following its May 25 nuclear test.

Earlier Friday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was closely monitoring North Korean military sites because the communist nation may fire more missiles in coming days.

Several U.S. Defense Department officials, however, said there was nothing to indicate that North Korea is ready to launch a long-range ballistic missile and there appears to be no immediate threat to the United States.

Missile defenses were strengthened following a mid-June report in a Japanese newspaper that the North might fire a long-range missile toward Hawaii in early July.

While Americans were celebrating Independence Day in 2006, North Korea also fired a barrage of missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2 that broke apart and fell into the ocean.

Separately, a North Korean ship that had changed course after being shadowed for more than a week by the U.S. Navy passed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and was heading toward North Korea, South Korean news channel YTN reported, citing an unidentified diplomatic source.

The Kang Nam 1 — originally believed to be bound for Myanmar, possibly with illicit weapons on board — turned around at Myanmar’s request and the Southeast Asian country appeared to have offered compensation to the North, YTN said.

A U.N. resolution passed after North Korea’s May 25 nuclear test seeks to clamp down on the country’s trading of banned arms and weapons-related material by requiring U.N. member states to request inspections of ships suspected of carrying prohibited cargo.

North Korea has said it would consider any interception of its ships a declaration of war.

15 dead in suspected US missile strike in Pakistan

A man covers his face while travelling on top of a vehicle to Buner district from Mardan, about 220 km (137 miles) by road northwest of Islamabad Reuters – A man covers his face while travelling on top of a vehicle to Buner district from Mardan, about 220 km …

By MUNIR AHMED, Associated Press Writer Munir Ahmed, Associated Press Writer 51 mins ago

ISLAMABAD – U.S. missiles struck a training facility operated by Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and a militant hide-out Friday, killing 15 people and wounding 27 others, intelligence officials said.

The two attacks by drone aircraft took place in South Waziristan, a Mehsud stronghold close to the Afghan border where Pakistani troops are gearing up for a military offensive, two officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

They took place as U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met government officials in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. She discussed topics of “mutual interest” with them, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.

The drone attacks were the latest in more than 40 believed to have been be carried out by the United States against militant targets in the border area since last August. Washington does not directly acknowledge being responsible for the attacks, which kill civilians as well as militants.

Most Pakistanis criticize the drone attacks, and Islamabad officially protests them as violations of its sovereignty. Still, most experts believe the government secretly approves of them and likely provides the United States with intelligence.

One of the attacks Friday targeted an abandoned seminary in the village of Mantoi that was allegedly being used by militants from Mehsud’s group for training, said the officials. The other struck a hide-out in the nearby village of Kokat Khel, they said.

In total, 15 people were killed and 27 others were wounded, they said.

On Thursday, U.S. Marines in neighboring Afghanistan launched a major anti-Taliban offensive in southern Helmand province. Pakistan said it moved troops to the stretch of its border opposite Helmand to stop militants fleeing the American assault.

The United States wants Pakistan to crack down on militants on its side of the border, believing it essential to stabilizing Afghanistan eight years after the invasion that ousted the Taliban there.

The Pakistani military launched an offensive in the Swat region close to the border since early May and is currently gearing up for operations in South Waziristan to eliminate Mehsud, who has been blamed for a string of deadly suicide attacks across the country that have killed more than 100 people in the past month.

In neighboring North Waziristan Friday, Pakistani warplanes bombed suspected militant hide-outs, killing at least four insurgents and wounding seven others, two more intelligence officials said. Those airstrikes hit targets where Taliban fighters killed 16 government troops in an ambush earlier this week, the officials said, also speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The U.S. appears to be ramping up the pressure on Mehsud, who is viewed in Islamabad with growing alarm. Last week, the Taliban leader narrowly escaped a strike on a funeral for militants killed in an earlier drone attack. Eighty people died in the strike, although Mehsud escaped unharmed.

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